2 killed in car bomb attack near Iraqi border with Syria

At least a paramilitary Hashd Shaabi fighter and a civilian were killed on Thursday in a car bomb explosion in an Iraqi town near the border with Syria in the western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said.

The attack occurred in the afternoon when a booby-trapped car ripped through a parking lot at Karabla district in the town of al-Qaim, Col. Ghanim al-Mazroui from al-Jazira Operations Command in Anbar province told Xinhua.

The blast killed a Hashd Shaabi member and wounded another from the Iraqi Hezbollah militia, in addition to killing a passerby, al-Mazroui said.

The explosion also badly damaged several nearby cars and buildings, he said, adding that reinforcement troops cordoned off the area to secure the scene.

The security situation in Iraq has dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist group Islamic State (IS) late in 2017.

But IS remnants have since melted into urban areas or used deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, while carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.